Why Handmade Soap is Coming Back

Did you know that anti-bacterial soap could be bad for you? The FDA has just banned the sale of soaps containing certain antibacterial chemicals. They stated that there is no evidence to suggest that antibacterial soaps are safe for long term use, or that they are even as effective as traditional soap in killing bacteria and preventing disease. Click here to read the FDA’s full report.

Antibacterial soap made its debut in the late ’70s, but the antibacterial properties weren’t really pushed heavily until the late ’80s. It was sold as a healthcare miracle. Many ads touting the benefits of antibacterial soap were aimed at parents. They even cited pediatrician recommendations. This tactic wasn’t without merit at the time because pediatricians were recommending and using these new soaps. Keep in mind is that soap does not need approval from the FDA to be sold. The FDA can, however, remove soaps or certain chemicals from the market if there is a lack of evidence to demonstrate their safety or effectiveness.

this-side-of-paradise-cover-photo
Our detergent-free handmade soaps are available in our Renton clinic or online at http://goodliferenton.com/products.html

This is a case where it has become clear that there is no verifiable benefit to using these ingredients, while at the same time, there is some concern (though little in the way of conclusive proof) that these ingredients might actually be causing harm.

That said, it’s still important to wash regularly, especially during cold and flu season. UNICEF estimates that 2.3 million children die every year from diarrhea and pneumonia-related illnesses every year–deaths that in many cases could have been prevented by this simple habit. In fact, UNICEF has also said that hand washing is “more straight-forward and cost-effective than any single vaccine” in preventing illness.

More regular washing can instantly have an impact on your personal health. In fact, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) reports that in the general population regular hand washing reduces respiratory illnesses, such as colds, by 16 – 21%. It should also be noted that most of the illnesses that hand washing is meant to prevent come not from bacteria, but from viruses. Understanding that washing and hygeine are important, this has lead to a new golden age for handmade soap.

Handmade soap bubbles back to the surface
Before soaps became a mass-produced commodity, soap making was a common handicraft that used chemicals and materials commonly found in most homes and farms–primarily rendered beef fat called tallow. While some soap makers stick to the old methods, most handmade soaps today are┬ásaponified vegetable based oils. The main problem with this uptick in the production and popularity of handmade soaps is variation of quality, and even safety.

Yes, soap is soap. It’s sanitary function is fairly uniform across the spectrum. But that doesn’t mean handmade soaps are all created equal. In terms of how soap works on your skin, there can be a world of difference between bars depending on a number of factors including ingredients, manufacturing methods, and even the climate you’re in.

At The Good Life Massage, we sell handmade soaps made with as many natural ingredients as possible. They contain no detergents, which can cause irritation. To learn more about our soaps and other handmade skin care products, visit our Products page. We also strongly recommend you like the This Side of Paradise Facebook page.

Tom Gunn is a freelance writer and is the blog editor and marketing director for The Good Life Massage. To hire Tom or to see more of his work, visit www.tgunnwriter.com.

You Don’t Have to be Rich to Get Regular Massage: Save With Prepaid Packages

If you think massage is out of reach or not practical for you, it might be time to take another look.

Massage has come a long way in the past twenty years. As word has spread about massage’s many benefits for health and wellness, more and more people are coming in to try a session who may never have had one before.

A common misconception about massage is that it’s a luxury service–a personal indulgence that only the rich can afford. Massage chains have contributed a great deal to rolling back this misconception by offering massage at low rates previously unheard of in the spa industry. While this has been great for introducing people to the benefits of massage, the situation is less than perfect, and often isn’t beneficial to the long-term care of clients.

The problem with massage chains…

There's nothing to envy about the hidden costs of massage memberships.
There’s nothing to envy about the hidden costs of massage memberships.

Hidden costs
Massage chains are most often run like gyms: their product is memberships, not massages. You, the customer, commit to a fixed payment each month that entitles you to so many massages within that month. But don’t be too dazzled by the introductory rate. Your monthly costs are usually much higher than the introductory rate, and often come with a start-up fee of some kind.

Revolving door
Further, massage chains can offer the bargains they do because they generally hire newly minted massage practitioners fresh out of massage school. Often, these therapists are just looking for work anywhere they can find it. With enrollment in massage training programs at an all-time low, chains throughout the industry are finding it hard to recruit talented therapists whose work is worth coming back for, and who will accept the near-minimum wage chains are offering. The low pay also necessarily makes for a high turn-over rate as practitioners burn out or find better-paying work elsewhere.

“Can I get Jessie? She did such a great job on my lower back last time.”

“Sorry, she’s no longer with us. Don’t worry, though, Alex is great.”

Even if your favorite therapist is still there, it can be very hard to get in to see them regularly.

The owners of the Good Life Massage both spent some of their careers at major massage chains, and much of what they saw inspired them to strike out on their own. Both wanted to offer clients something more.

The Good Life Massage–meeting you in the middle
We set up GLM not as a luxury service only for the wealthy, but as a wellness center designed to help contribute to a culture of self-care and well-being in a world that’s so often hostile to those things.

For our clients who need regular massage, we designed a system that lowers the price tag of regular sessions considerably, but still provides a great benefit without cumbersome contracts filled with hidden costs and fine print.

Massage packages: How it works
The Good Life Massage offers prepaid massage packages. These allow you to purchase multiple sessions all at once which you can book whenever you like. There’s no contract to sign, no fine print, and no monthly payment to worry about.

When you purchase the package of your choice, you pay up-front for all your massages, getting one for FREE when you buy 5 or more.

What’s the catch?

There’s no catch. Your package doesn’t even expire.

Share and share alike
The best part is that the packages are completely transferable. You can offer your unique package code to anyone you want so they can book a session. Massage chain memberships are tied to your name only, and can’t be used by family, friends, or co-workers.

Your employees or co-workers can all share one redemption code, getting everyone more massage and saving everyone money.
Your employees or co-workers can all share one redemption code, getting everyone more massage and saving everyone money.

A massage package can be a great cost-effective way to give family gifts, provide a perk for your employees, or just save money in the long run on the massages you’re already getting.

Spreading the cost out with a group means even more savings and more massage for everyone.

No revolving door
All our massage practitioners are hand-picked by our owner/operators Kylee Davis and Amy Gunn. Both are licensed massage practitioners. They hire only the best practitioners in the business and pay fair, competitive wages.

We’re here to build lasting relationships with our clients that will help their health and wellness long term, not just fill massage rooms. Our turnover rate is non-existent so far, and all our therapists have won loyal clients eager to come back for them again and again.

So what are you waiting for? Massage packages can be ordered through our website. Your package redemption code can be instantly downloaded and used the moment you get it. You can also buy them in-person at our clinic at 200 South Tobin, Ste A in Renton, Washington.

Want to apply a package to your next massage? At checkout, just ask to purchase a package and we can credit the massage you just had to your new package.

Tom Gunn is the Marketing Director and official blogger at The Good Life Massage. You can follow him on Twitter @tomgunnpoet or visit www.tgunnwriter.com

What Everybody Ought to Know About Frankincense

For millennia, it’s been traded heavily in North Africa and the Arabian peninsula.

It’s a gift fit for kings.

And now it can be yours.

Frankincense is an essential oil extracted from the bark of Boswellia trees–a tough, scraggly form of brush most commonly found in the middle east and North Africa. Its distinctive aroma hits you first with a rich, inviting musk that warms with your body heat, turning almost sweet with citrus-like undertones.

The aroma has a subtly calming and mood-boosting effect, but it’s also beneficial for the health of your skin. It has been shown to restore damaged or aging skin in some measure while helping to maintain the health of existing skin cells.

Research at Cardiff University also suggests that frankincense can be an effective treatment for arthritis. It has also been shown to be effective for joint and muscle inflammation.

We use Frankincense primarily in products where skincare is essential, including our All Natural Eye Cream.

Frankincense is an option when you book a massage session with the aromatherapy enhancement. You can also request to have it used as part of an Aromatouch session with Kylee Davis.

To purchase your own supply of frankincense, and for more information about what frankincense essential oil can do for you, contact Kylee Davis at thegoodlifemassage@gmail.com

As with everything on this blog, none of this information should be construed as medical advice or care. The employees of The Good Life Massage, including the writers of this blog, are not medical doctors. Consult with your physician before making any changes to improve your health.

Tom Gunn is the Marketing Director and blog editor at The Good Life Massage. You can follow him on Twitter @tomgunnpoet or visit him online at tgunnwriter.com.

A Sweet Treat for Hands and Feet: Handmade Sugar Scrubs

It sounds weird.

It sounds delicious.

It’s neither, actually. Our handmade sugar scrubs are a sweet treat for your hands or feet. This product is a gentle exfoliation treatment that’s perfect for the extremities, but can be used anywhere you would like softer, more rejuvenated skin.Peppermint Handmade Sugar Scrub

Where does it come from?
Like most of our products, Handmade Sugar Scrub is made under the same roof as our massage clinic using all-natural ingredients. These ingredients include:

  • Granulated Sugar
  • Pure Vegetable Glycerin
  • Fractionated Coconut Oil
  • All-Natural Fragrance, including essential oils

Our own Amy Gunn formulated this product herself and does most of the manufacturing with her own hands and with the help of our staff. Ingredients are locally sourced wherever possible.

Why sugar?
While salt is often favored for spa products like this, salt can dry out your skin. Sugar has a similarly rough texture to exfoliate without damaging the skin.

How do I use it?

1. Before applying, open the container. The ingredients may have settled, so you’ll need to stir things up before using. Use the scoop (included) to gently stir the product so all the ingredients are well mixed.
2. With the scoop, apply the product to rough or dry skin. Most people use it for hands or feet, but it can be effective anywhere on your body.
3. Gently scrub in a circular motion.
4. Rinse with warm water, moisturize, and enjoy softer, healthier skin.

What does it smell like?
Handmade Sugar Scrub comes in five fragrances, including:

Sweet Pea
We use this fragrance popular fragrance in several of our products. This floral smell manages to gently delight your senses without coming on too strong.

The subtle smell of sweet peas makes this fragrance one of our most popular, for all our products, but especially the sugar scrub.
The subtle smell of sweet peas makes this fragrance one of our most popular, for all our products, but especially the sugar scrub.

Peppermint
This fragrance comes from therapeutic-grade essential

Peppermint essential oils add a crisp and sharp fragrance while feeling cool and soothing on the skin.
Peppermint essential oils add a crisp and sharp fragrance while feeling cool and soothing on the skin.

oils. Not only does it have a crisp, clean scent, it creates a pleasant cooling sensation on the skin.

Energize!
The natural citrus oils in this fragrance will get you moving. This is perfect if you plan on using it first thing in the morning or any time you feel a lull in your energy.

Citrus Blossom
This is a sweet blend of mostly fruity undertones with the slightest hint of floral and musk. The effect is that it slightly elevates your mood while soothing your senses.

White Grapefruit
This is scented with therapeutic-grade grapefruit essential oil. Sweet and mouthwatering.

Custom Order
If there’s a scent you’re particularly fond of, we may be able to make it for you! Email or call (425-243-7705) for more information.

Where do I get it?
You can stop in at our clinic to pick some up! We’re open 9 AM to 9 PM Monday to Friday and 8 AM to 8 PM on Saturday. We’re located at 200 South Tobin St. in Renton, Washington.

It can also be purchased online from our products page. If you’re from Renton or the greater Seattle area, you can save on shipping and pick up your order directly from our clinic.

Tom Gunn is the official blogger and marketing director at The Good Life Massage. You can follow him on Twitter @tomgunnpoet.